Plodding along Lakeview Boulevard during a run this morning on my way up to Capitol Hill I heard chants and hoots and whistles emanating from the I-5 Express lanes. It sounded like a protest march. But then I saw a Santa Claus hat and I knew instantly that it must be the annual Jingle Bell Run. I thought it was next Sunday.
The 2009 Seattle Jingle Bell Run was the first 5K run I had done since one put on by the Community Alliance for Global Justice in 2003. Participating in fun runs every month or two is a good way to maintain one's training year round. My suggestion to anyone who wants to feel better is read Christopher McDougall's "Born To Run" and start running, even if it's at 12-minute-mile pace. I am persuaded by McDougall's thesis that running is the activity that allows us the most direct access to our species-being. As a bachelor it is my greatest love.
The route of the Jingle Bell Run is pretty miserable. It starts at Westlake Center with runners massed at 5th and Pine. Then it runs uphill south on 5th until entering the I-5 northbound Express lanes at Cherry. The majority of the remainder of the race is run in the Express lanes that tunnel under the Convention Center before finishing back at Westlake Center. I opted out this year. Too many runners and walkers and too much tunnel running.